The majority of the visitors who make it to Hungary usually spend a few days in Budapest before hop on to the next country of their multi-city tour. But if you want to experience something different from Budapest in Hungary, Pécs is one of the best cities to visit. There are also several fun things to do in Pecs that you might need a couple of days to enjoy this Hungarian city.
Pécs is in the southwest region of Hungary, and you can get there comfortably by a 3-hour train ride from Budapest. Romans and Turks are the early settlers of the city, and as a result, the culture of Pécs has both Christian and Muslim influences. In 2010 the city earned the title “European Capital of Culture” for its rich culture and history.
Best things to do in Pécs
If you are planning to visit, here are some best things you can do in this fantastic city.
Best religious sites in Pécs
- Pécs Cathedral
This Romanesque cathedral is a symbol of Hungarian history. Though it was a Christian cathedral initially, it was converted into a Mosque during the Ottoman era before finally proclaimed as a Christian worship place again. The signature feature of the cathedral is its four 60-meter tall towers.
2. Mosque of Pasha Qasim
Mosque of Pasha Qasim is one of the many representations of the Turkish or Ottoman influence upon Hungary. Though later converted to a church, the building's architecture is reminiscent of Ottoman and Islamic design.
3. Pécs Synagogue
Pécs Synagogue is an excellent example of the diverse culture of Pécs. The facility has a combination of Neoclassical and Moorish Revival designs. Pécs Synagogue is a symbol of the Jewish community that flourished before the Nazi authority deported the majority to concentration camps during world war II.
Best museums in Pécs
There are many museums to visit during a stopover in Pécs. Here are some suggestions.
1. Zsolnay Museum
The Zsolnay family played a prominent role in Hungarian history, especially in the area of pottery. This museum is the house for pottery and other creations of the Zsolnay family. The place opens from 10 am to 6 pm every day except Mondays, and a ticket will cost around $5.20.
2. Csontváry Museum
This museum houses the works of the famous Hungarian artist, Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka. The museum's crown jewel is perhaps the "Baalbek," which is the largest solar road painting in the world. Csontváry Museum opens from 10 am to 6 pm for visitors every day except Mondays.
3. Vasarely Museum
Pécs resident and the founder of Op-art (optical art), Victor Vasarely is famous for using geometrical shapes and optical illusions in his paintings. Wander through the museum to see his unique works. The place is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.
Best places for a foodie in Pécs
Pécs has many restaurants and cafes to enjoy a wide variety of dishes. Blöff Bisztró in Jókai tér 5 one of the best to enjoy Balkan-style meals. They add various spices and ingredients to your typical chicken and fish dishes to give them a Balkan twist.
Another exciting place to check out is Csinos Presszó. This restaurant belongs to its category even its website says, "just come and see." If you are looking for a place for desserts, Jókai Cukrászda is the place to go. It has traditional and modern Hungarian cookies, cakes, biscuits and many other desserts.
Also, pay a visit to Tüke Borház if you are into wine tasting.
Other things to do in Pécs
The following are some other interesting and exciting things to do during your Pécs stopover.
Ascend Pécs TV Tower
Stands at 197 meters high, Pécs TV tower is the tallest building in Hungary. It is on top of the Misina peak in the Mecsek mountain range. When the weather is clear, you can see as far as 100 km. Tickets will cost around $6.10, and the place opens daily from 9 am to 7 pm.
Stroll down the Király Street
Located in the heart of Pécs, it is a trendy area with a buzzing atmosphere. You will find a range of stylish shops, eateries and bars here. Spend an afternoon shopping, eating and wandering in Király Street.
Book a show at the National Theatre of Pécs
This theatre is worth visiting for its architectural design only. And on top of that, you can enjoy stunning performances of The Pécs Ballet Company and a wide variety of opera, drama and musical performances.
Relax at The Pintér Botanical Garden
Pintér Botanical Garden has two parts. The upper section offers you a view of the Karst forest of the Mecsek mountain range and the lower part where visitors can wander through the Nagyharsány Sculpture Park. A ticket to visit the botanical garden is around $1.5.
Hang out in the Széchenyi Square
Széchenyi Square is where the residents of Pécs gather to hang out. Some of the main landmarks of Pécs are on the borders of this plaza. Széchenyi Square becomes the focal point of the Pécs Days Heritage Festival during September.
If you plan to visit Pécs, make sure to schedule your tour to make the most out of your visit. Go through each and everything you can do in Pécs and select the most exciting things for you. Finding ticket prices and booking in advance is the wisest thing to do. Check out the following Pécs itinerary to get some ideas.